Staying In Shape As The Busy Traveler

In this article I am going to go over some exercises that can be done just about anywhere to get into great shape. These exercises will give you more energy and will help you stay fresh and alert.

You have been there a million times. Cab ride to the crowded airport, standing in line forever to check in, going through three security check-ins and then yet another wait before getting on the plane. Traveling takes a lot out of you. However, the better shape you are in the easier it will be to handle the stresses of traveling.

In this article I am going to go over some exercises that can be done just about anywhere to get into great shape. These exercises will give you more energy and will help you stay fresh and alert.

Exercises That Can Be Done Anywhere

Let's go over the exercises that can be done anywhere. Lets start off with the beginner exercises: push-ups, sit-ups, and squats. In addition to getting you in great shape, when applied properly these exercises can also give you a nice energy boost.

Most people know how to do push-ups and sit-ups so I will not go over those drills. To do proper bodyweight squats, take a shoulder width stance and look forward at all times. As you start squatting down, push your butt back as far as possible and imagine that you are trying to sit in a chair. Squat as far down as possible. Pause for a few seconds and then stand back up. Breathe in as you squat down and breathe out as you stand up.

Freehand Jump Squat.

While you are at the departure gate waiting to get on your plane, knock off a few reps on each exercise. Don't do a full-blown workout, just enough to get you nice and loose.

Now do the exercises in the following manner. Take four seconds to do the lowering phase, pause for two seconds at the bottom of each drill, and take four seconds to do the rising phase. Flex your muscles as hard as possible on each exercise. This flexing will maximize the benefits of the exercises and help you build a lean and solid look.

Exercises For Air Travel

Once you get on the plane and it is safe to move around the flight, go to the back of the plane and stretch out for a few minutes. Touch your toes for thirty seconds and then get into a full squat for thirty seconds. Stand up and do some neck stretches. Rotate your neck forward and backward ten times. Then bend your neck from side to side ten times.

After that, raise your shoulders as high as you can and then let the drop ten times. Traveling is stressful and stress is generally held in the neck, shoulders, and lower back. Taking a few minutes to stretch on the plane will have you more refreshed when you get to your destination.

Once you reach your destination, it is time to go to the baggage claim to retrieve your luggage. Once again, you have some time to do some exercise and stretch out a little bit. Do the same stretches that you did on the plane and follow that up with the bodyweight exercises that you did before getting on the plane. Again, do not do a major workout here, just enough to get the blood moving and to loosen up your body.

Hotel Exercises

When you get to your hotel room, it is time to get a real workout in. Use the hotel gym if one is available. Otherwise your hotel room will do just fine. Do all of the bodyweight exercises again and do 85% of your maximum. In other words if you can do 100 squats, stop at 85.

This will allow you to get a great workout in without burning out. Do a maximum workout once a month and then stay at 85% of your maximum for the rest of your workouts. Your workouts should energize you rather than drain you further.

Increasing Intensity

As you get in better shape, you can pick some more advanced bodyweight drill to take the intensity up a notch. I recommend the following exercises: One-legged squats, one-arm push-ups, and door chin-ups. The one-legged squats and one-arm push-ups can be done anywhere. Save the door-chin-ups for your hotel room.

One-Legged Squat

A one-legged squat is performed by standing on one leg and holding the other leg out in front of you. Squat down slowly and stay as tight as you can. When you reach the bottom, pause for a second and then stand up.

I realize that this is easier said than done for most people. Thus, use a chair in the beginning to decrease the range of motion.

One-Arm Push-up

To do one-arm push-ups, get in the push-up position and place one arm behind your back. Lower yourself slowly with the other arm until your chest touches the floor. Again stay as tight as you can during the lowering phase.

In the beginning, just focus on lowering yourself with one-arm and pressing back up to the starting position with two-arms.

Door Chin-Ups

When you get to your hotel room it is time to do some doorway pull-ups. Open the door and throw a towel over the top. Place your hands over the top of the door and pull yourself up along the door.

If you cannot do one doorway pull-up, use a chair to get you to the top position and hold that position for five seconds. Now lower yourself back to the starting position and repeat.


For more information and tips on bodyweight exercises, get Pavel Tsatsouline's book "The Naked Warrior." Another option is to get a device called "The Power Push-up 2" to add resistance to push-ups and a device called "The Portable Power Jumper" to add resistance to squats. Both devices use rubber resistance and can easily be thrown in a suitcase for traveling.

Well, there you have it some simple ways to incorporate some effective bodyweight exercises into your routine. Apply the tips in this article to your traveling schedule for the next thirty days and I think that you will be amazed with the results.